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    Eugene shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    We have read all of the comments on this thread and I’d like to thank you for providing your constructive feedback on this issue. Instead of merely repeating our support and migration guidance that has been laid out on http://msdn.com/vbrun, I’d like to address some of your specific comments here.

    To play back the feedback themes we’re hearing:
    - VB6 is awesome
    - VB6 needs to be brought forward and maintained: in a new release or OSS

    VB6 was and still is without a doubt awesome. VB6 made developers incredibly productive building a breadth of applications and as a result we have a wealth of applications and passionate developers to this day in 2014. One way I see our mission in developer tools is to empower developers to solve problems. This includes both today’s problems AND the problems of tomorrow. VB6, as you all have stated repeatedly in this thread, is an excellent tool for solving the problems of its day. We also stand behind our decision starting in 2002 to meet the current demands of our developers and the industry with .NET. For the scenarios VB6 set out to do, we see VB6 being “complete”. We feel good about VB6 being able to continue maintaining their applications for the past 15 years. Current needs ranging from distributed applications and services, to web applications and services, to devices, to new architectures and languages, required fundamental changes to the whole stack. We looked at how we could accommodate these needs through incremental changes to VB6 while maintaining its essence, and that was not possible.

    To address the modern needs we would need to go far beyond updating the language. We have to remember that VB6 is not just a language. VB6 is a language, a runtime, a platform library, a tool/IDE, and an ecosystem tightly packaged together in a way that made all of them work well together. We’ve worked with many customers on migration from VB6 to .NET and found that while yes, there are language changes, the dominating factor in migration difficulties isn’t the language differences. Even open sourcing the language/runtime wouldn’t solve the fact that VB6 was thought for a different set of problems, and the fact that its strength came from the end-to-end solution provided by all these five pieces working together. Take a change like 64bit, the complete runtime, tools and ecosystem chain would need to be retooled.

    So, moving forward what can we do? Where we have been able to help move forward is in our stance around support and interoperability. The VB6 runtime it is still a component of the Windows operating system and is a component shipped in Windows 8.1. It will be supported at least through 2024. This ensures your apps and components continue to run as you incrementally move forward to .NET. The support policy is here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/ms788708. There are numerous interop strategies that we developed and evolved to enable incremental migration as you upgrade your skills, described here: http://msdn.com/vbrun.

    In summary, VB6 was awesome. We agree. We don’t expect or demand anyone to throw away their code or rewrite from any of our technologies unless it makes business sense for them to do so. We have to innovate to enable our customers to innovate. It is not a viable option to create a next version of VB6. We stand by our decision to make VB.NET and the .NET Framework. We think they are awesome too. It is not feasible to open source VB6 tools chain and ecosystem. The VB6 runtime was last shipped in Windows 8.1 and will be supported for the lifetime of Windows 8.1. Support and interop are great tools to move forward incrementally.

    I hope you feel we’ve listened to your feedback and that I’ve explained things well enough that you understand our decision.

    Paul Yuknewicz
    Group Program Manager
    Microsoft Visual Studio Cloud Tools

    9445 comments

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      • Microsoft, update VB6 programming & VBA programming commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        David Platt has a new atricle about VB6 programming in the Microsoft MSDN magazine.

        He says "With these latest improvements to compatibility, I foresee at least another ten years of life for VB6. And I’ll bet you anything that this support gets renewed in Windows 11 and 12, or whatever they’re called by then. Another decade of driving the puritans crazy. I can dig it."

        "These life-extenders should drive VB6 detractors barking mad."

        https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/mt846730

      • Microsoft, update VB6 programming & VBA programming commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Anonymous

        Nowhere in David Platt's article does it say that only 3% were willing to learn new languages.
        The 3% wanted VB to be the stupid cousin of C#, that is C# with a vaguely VB syntax.
        The 97% wanted VB to be updated so that it retained backwards compatibility with VB6.

        Time has shown the 97% to be right. Microsoft lost millions of VB6 developers. VB6 is still supported, while .Net is slowly fading into obscurity.

        In the Stack Overflow 2018 survey C# fell from 4th to 8th in 1 year, and VB.Net fell to 18th.
        https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2018/#technology-programming-scripting-and-markup-languages

      • The Professional commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Of course you should not migrate to C# or VB.Net. That would be a disaster. Both of them are completely over your heads. None of you are capable of learning or using modern, object-oriented languages. Anybody that thinks an easy language like VB.Net is too hard lacks the mental chops to learn it in the first place.

        But you have plenty of company according to David Platt's "excellent article". Only 3% of VB6 developers were willing to learn new languages. The other 97% were content to stay with their "simple" language until the industry passed them by and they were all fired.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Jean

        >> And still some suggest we migrate from VB6 programming to VB.Net or C# !!!

        They'll never learn ;)

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @VB6 programming just got a big boost from Microsoft

        >> The reality is Microsoft messed up. They got J++ wrong, C# was a reasonable attempt, VB.Net was misguided.

        Yes,another Microsoft fail.

        If you can't bring the majority of your existing users with you, you have failed.

        Microsoft, having failed with their VB6 replacement, then failed again by refusing to update VB6.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @@VB6 programming just got a big boost from Microsoft

        >> "In a number of important ways, .Net is a failure.

        Think back a decade or so ago. As you may recall, .Net was supposed to be much more than just the next version of Windows DNA or COM+ or COM. It was supposed to destroy Java, extend the Windows platform, and secure the Microsoft monopoly for another decade or two."

        "Unfortunately, .Net also cannibalized Microsoft's most successful corporate IT development environment, Visual Basic. Look at Indeed's Job Trends, Tiobe, and so on, and you'll notice that .Net's rise is all about Visual Basic's decline. There isn't a lot of correlation between .Net trends and Java's bumps and bends."

        https://www.infoworld.com/article/2612302/application-development/why-microsoft--net-failed.html

        Yes, C# failed in it's stated aim of being a Java-killer.
        So Microsoft failed to take developers away from Java, and lost many of their VB6 developers at the same time.

        Microsoft lose-lose

      • Jean commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @VB6 programming just got a big boost from Microsoft

        "VB6 didn't start to lose users in any volume until it became clear that there wasn't an upgrade (say 2001-2003). At that point VB6 users had to decide where to go. The big (early) movement was more to Delphi than Java (Delphi being closer in concept to VB6). It was Microsoft's failure to provide a backwards compatible VB7 that forced users to move away from VB6. Yes some Microsoft fanbois moved to VB.Net but it was never really popular. "

        That's correct. We were lead to believe by Microsoft that VB7 would be an 'upgraded' VB6. It wasn't. It was a different, incompatible, language.
        That meant the only choices that were available were to move to languages that weren't as good as VB6.
        Many of us looked at VB.Net, but the first releases barely worked and there was no migration path.
        Java was better than VB.Net, but far less productive than VB6.
        Delphi attracted a lot of developers, conceptually it was probably the closest to VB6.
        Many assumed, naively, that Microsoft would "fix" VB.Net eventually. But they never really did (with VB2005, VB2008 and VB2010 they fixed the bugs in the earlier releases of VB.Net, but they never fixed the compatibility issues).
        By this time it became clear that there wasn't a simple route for VB6 users to take, leading to VB6 users moving to a whole range of different products. But with the realization that VB6 wasn't going to go away, continuing to use VB6 became the favored route for many.

        A huge failure for Microsoft. The Microsoft Marketing department is often criticized for this, but to be fair they were given little to work with.

        VB.Net has never been popular, Microsoft say it has only 10% of the users that Microsoft C# has.
        C# has never competed with Java, having only a fraction of the users (20-25%) that Java has.
        And all this time, Microsoft have supported VBA programming in Microsoft Office (The Microsoft Office division never being supporters of .Net).

        Meanwhile VB6 just keeps rollin' along.

      • Jean commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Anonymous

        "As David Platt said "Do these guys really have nothing better to do than lambaste someone else’s choice of development tools?" "

        No, they seem not to. You think they would spend their time learning a new language to replace the declining .Net.

      • Jean commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Anonymous

        "The 'religious' fervor of those who don't use use the VB6 programming language is always amusing. You can understand why those who have their employment or business dependent on VB6 should take the trouble to post, you can understand why those who choose to use VB6 would post. But what goes through the heads of those who (often repeatedly and at length) post about a language they don't actually use ? "

        But it does give the rest of us something to laugh at :)

      • Ricardo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Why is VB6 programming still popular?

        .... Microsoft have never offered an alternative. VB.Net had little in common with VB6.

      • Ricardo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Why is VB6 programming still popular?

        .... VB6 is supported by Microsoft on Windows 10 and Windows 2016

      • Ricardo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Why is VB6 programming still popular?

        .... VB6 compiles to native code, no framework to slow it down.

      • Ricardo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Why is VB6 programming still popular?

        .... VB6 programs can run on Windows from Windows 95 to Windows 10 64 bit (without recompiling.

      • Ricardo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Why is VB6 programming still popular?

        .... VB6 is the same language as the VBA programming language in Microsoft Office, which is still supported.

      • Ricardo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Why is VB6 programming still popular?

        .... VB6 is faster than VB.Net on the same hardware

        "VB6 is still the product to beat in performance"- Paul Yuknewicz, Program Manager for Visual Studio

      • Ricardo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Why is VB6 programming still popular?

        .... VB6 is a true RAD - you can develop faster in VB6 than VB.Net or C# or Java.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The 2018 Stack Overflow survey...

        C# declines from 4th most popular language in 2017 to 8th most popular in 2018.

        VB.Net declines from 13th most popular language in 2017 to 18th most popular in 2018.

        F# isn't used enough to be counted.

        For the sixth year in a row, JavaScript is the most commonly used programming language.

        JavaScript frameworks node.js and Angular are the most widely used frameworks.

        https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2018/#technology-programming-scripting-and-markup-languages

        And still some suggest we migrate from VB6 programming to VB.Net or C# !!!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Jean

        >>A VB6 program that ran on Windows 95 or Windows 98 runs unchanged on Windows 10 now.

        VB6 programming works on 32bit and 64bit Windows, from Windows 95 to Windows 10.
        A VB6 exe compiled for Windows 95 just continues to run on newer versions of Windows without needing to recompile. This doesn't mean that Microsoft have had to do anything to make VB6 work, just that they have had to be careful not to do something which might prevent VB6 from running.

      • MichaelE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        >> What is the point in rewriting VB6 software to produce identical software in a different language?

        Not gonna rewrite anything major.

        I would not mind having a 64-bit version of the coolest software dev system ever created. ;-)

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